Why Do We Make Resolutions?

As we ring in the New Year with our family, friends and loved ones, the question of what our New Year's resolution will be is inevitably discussed. The question I want to ask, and answer, is why do we make New Year's resolutions in the first place? As I ponder this question, I am reminded of my college graduation commencement speech given by Dr. Ed Diener, professor and researcher at the University of Illinois. He has been studying happiness for the past 25 years. As he spoke at my graduation, not quite 25 years ago, but close, I recall his findings at the time that the number one factor that correlated with people achieving happiness, is setting goals. He was sure to point out that it is not so much reaching the goal, but merely having goals that leads to happiness. Perhaps that is the reason we set goals this time of year. So as we consider what our resolutions for 2015 may be, keep in mind, striving toward something, having a goal, whether attained or not, lifts us out of bed, into the world and towards a better self. It is the number one factor in happiness! So I offer to everyone the opportunity to set goals this New Year’s Eve but keep in mind, it may not be reaching the goal itself that we need to focus on but just looking ahead and moving forward.

Happy New Year from Dr. K at Dr. K's Comprehensive Ways

To read more about Dr. Edward Diener and his current work, visit his website: http://internal.psychology.illinois.edu/~ediener/index.html

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